Development Banks, partners pledge over $17 billion to increase food security in Africa

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By AgroNature Admin

A group of multilateral development banks and development partners has pledged over $17 billion to address rising hunger on the African continent.

The support is to also improve food security.

The funds were pledged on the final day of a two-day high-level virtual dialogue organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the CGIAR System Organization.

Themed Feeding Africa: leadership to scale up successful innovations 29 and 30 April.

Besides, 17 African nations also pledged to double agricultural productivity in their respective countries through the use of technologies.

In a Communique hosted on the AfDB website, the commitment from member nations would include investing in access to markets, and promoting agricultural research and development.

From the overall sum pledged, over $10 billion came from AfDB, which said it would invest $1.57 billion on scaling up 10 selected priority commodities over the next five years to help countries achieve self-sufficiency.

Another $8.83 billion will go towards building strong value chains for these commodities over the next five years. This will include programs to create opportunities for young people – particularly women.

“Let us now create today, a stronger partnership: a partnership for greater scale; a partnership to take technologies and innovations to hundreds of millions of farmers,” the AfDB President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said.

The IFAD pledged to provide an additional $1.5 billion to support national efforts to transform food and agricultural systems in Africa over the next three years. IFAD would also invest more in creating the pre-conditions for increased agricultural productivity.

The organization is helping to develop a growing pipeline of investments to restore land, create jobs and build resilience to climate change in the Sahel region. This is to contribute to the Green Great Wall objectives and creates 10 million jobs in the region by 2030.

“We praise the African leaders’ commitment to increase agricultural productivity and improve food security for millions of Africans. By modernizing African agriculture, small-holder farmers will be in a better position to bring more affordable food to consumers and create decent livelihoods for millions of young Africans involved in the processing, storage and marketing of food,” IFAD President Gilbert Houngbo stated.

The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), also committed up to $1.5 billion over the period 2020-2024 to the agric sector.

The Islamic Development Bank Group said it would earmark $3.5 billion to develop the agriculture sector in Africa in the next three years. These investments are expected to develop commodity value chains for both staple food and cash crops.

In an additional show of solidarity, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, joining a coalition of development partners, declared that it will invest $652 million in the next three years. This will support agricultural research and development initiatives in Africa. This funding is expected to empower 300 million farmers with a host of new innovations.

President Macky Sall of Senegal summed up interventions by African heads of state on Thursday with the following seven-point action list:

  • Accelerate agricultural production by taking technologies to scale
  • Increase investment in research and development
  • Optimize technology
  • Improve business language in agriculture to open up to the world
  • Support access to markets and the installation of basic infrastructure and equipment
  • Invest in new businesses to transform agricultural produce to support small producers.
  • Create a financing facility for food security and nutrition in Africa

The forum communiqué reflected these action points, emphasizing the call for a financing facility for food security in Africa. It was felt that this would be an appropriate channel for scaling up climate resilience and successful agricultural technologies. It would as well include digital innovations to farmers across Africa, and will allow countries to better address malnutrition and stunting.

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